So-So Sixth for Paturel in Lommel
A wild fourteenth round of the FIM MX2 World Championship - which took place on one of the toughest motocross tracks in the world, Lommel - reaped frustration for Kemea Yamaha Official MX2's trio of Benoit Paturel, Brent Van doninck and Alvin Östlund. Paturel wrapped up the Belgian Grand Prix in sixth place, while Van doninck and Östlund made up the top-thirteen.
With the all-new 'S' shape first-turn that Lommel now embodies, Benoit Paturel and Brent Van doninck had a narrow escape at the start of the first race with a rider falling between them. They both managed to avoid the chaos and emerged from turn one at the blunt end of the top-ten. The first few laps were manic as 40 of the fastest 250cc riders, under the age of 23 years-old, hung it all out on the hostile sand.
As one of the most seasoned MX2 riders, Benoit Paturel used the first 10-minutes of the race to find his rhythm on the unforgiving surface. He knew that as the clock ticked, his competition would fade. He was right, and with 3-laps to go he was able to capitalize on the physically spent Englishmen Ben Watson and Conrad Mewse for fifth, before digging even deeper on the final lap to pass Belgian Julien Lieber for an incredible fourth place.
Brent Van doninck had a heavily strapped knee after dabbing his right foot during the qualifying race. Although he said it was not painful, the leg was tight which made it difficult to feel as comfortable as he expected on his home soil. The young Belgian came home in a respectable tenth, while his teammate Alvin Östlund turned heads as he charged his way from outside of the top-twenty up into thirteenth place.
In the second race, the energy-sapping sand of Lommel was even tougher for the trio who were all placed outside of the top-twenty on the opening lap. Starting from behind forced the riders to think on their feet and take lines they wouldn't normally take. Paturel, tried to take the bad start in his stride and as the laps clicked off, he soon found himself in eighth place, which is where he eventually finished. Van doninck was disappointed with his twelfth place finish, while thirteenth place for Östlund after starting thirty-ninth, meant he made the best of a 'less than ideal' situation.
The next round of the FIM MX2 World Championship will take place next weekend, on August 12th and 13th in Frauenfeld-Gachnang, Switzerland.
6th GP Overall, 4th MX2 Championship Standings
"This weekend was so-so for me. I had good speed all weekend. In the second race I made a mistake on the start and I did my best to come back to eighth. There were some good things this weekend and we have learned from them, now we can only look forward to the next race."
13th GP Overall, 14th MX2 Championship Standings
"I didn't finish the qualifying race yesterday so I had the last pick on the start gate, so my starts were really bad. I worked my way up to thirteenth in both races, so the riding was really good. I was really happy with the way my YZ250F was working today. The bike and suspension was really good, so I am already looking forward to getting some better starts and then see what happens."